Breaking News

China September PMI Edges Economists Estimates
Tweet TWEET

eHealth Releases Top Health and Health Insurance Tax Tips for the 2012 Tax Year

eHealth Releases Top Health and Health Insurance Tax Tips for the 2012 Tax Year 
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/19/13 --  Today eHealth, Inc.
(NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealthInsurance.com), America's first and largest
private online health insurance exchange, released a series of tips
for health insurance consumers preparing to file their 2012 federal
tax returns. 
Many consumers overlook credits and deductions built into the tax
code that are designed to make medical care and health insurance more
affordable. Consumers who had high medical expenditures in 2012, who
were self-employed or owners of small businesses, or who cared for
aging parents should educate themselves on the opportunities to
deduct a portion of their expenses from their federal income tax.
This year's tax season is also a good time for consumers to
familiarize themselves with the possible tax consequences of health
reform provisions scheduled to come into effect in January of 2014. 
The tips below do not constitute personal tax advice and eHealth
recommends that consumers explore these issues with a certified
public accountant or tax professional when completing their federal
income taxes. 
Health and Insurance Related Tax Tips for Tax Year 2012 


 
--  Itemize medical expenses while you can - Not everyone has medical
    expenses high enough to deduct them on their federal tax returns, but
    even fewer will be able to do so next year. 2012 is the last year
    you'll be able to itemize and deduct medical expenses in excess of
    7.5% of your adjusted gross income. As a result of health reform, that
    threshold is being raised to 10% for the 2013 tax year. So, if you
    itemize on your federal tax return, do the math. Qualifying medical
    expenses in excess of 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for 2012 may
    be itemized. You can refer to IRS Publication 502 for more information
    about qualifying medical expenses, but these may include monthly
    premiums you pay for coverage (including some Medicare premiums),
    copayments, deductibles, dental expenses, and costs for some services
    not covered by your insurance plan. You may even deduct mileage
    accrued while driving to and from regular appointments. This deduction
    isn't for everyone, but if you (or one of your dependents) were
    seriously ill or hospitalized last year, you may qualify.
--  Expenses for the care for an aging parent - If your elderly parent
    earned less than $3,800 in 2012 (excluding Social Security in most
    cases) and you provided more than half of his or her financial
    support, you may be able to claim your parent as a dependent. This
    earns you an additional dependent exemption, even if your parent
    doesn't live with you. And if you've paid for the medical or nursing
    care of a dependent parent, you may also be able to itemize your costs
    as qualified medical expenses.
--  Medicare premiums and medical home improvements - If you're a retired
    senior, you may have an easier time meeting the 7.5% adjusted gross
    income threshold to deduct itemized medical expenses on your federal
    return. In addition to your out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental
    or vision care, you may also be able to include capital expenses for
    the installation of home medical equipment or improvements of your
    property for wheel-chair access. In addition, premiums taken from your
    Social Security check to pay for Medicare Part B may qualify as
    deductible, as well as premiums you paid for Medicare Part D
    (Prescription Drug) coverage or a Medicare Supplemental plan.
--  Deducting health insurance premiums as a business expense - If you had
    self-employment income in 2012, you may be able to deduct health
    insurance premiums you paid for yourself and your dependents as an
    'above the line' business expense (that is, without itemizing) on your
    federal tax return. Be aware, however, that you may not deduct
    premiums (including Medicare premiums) paid for any month in which you
    were eligible to participate in an employer-sponsored health insurance
    plan, and the amount you deduct cannot be greater than your net
    self-employment income for the year. Also, keep in mind that you
    cannot include what you paid toward your monthly premiums as an 'above
    the line' expense and also itemize it. Talk to a tax professional to
    learn more about the different types of self-employment status and the
    tax implications of each in your state.
--  Fund your Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2012 - An HSA is a
    tax-advantaged savings account used in conjunction with an
    HSA-eligible health insurance plan. Account contributions, qualified
    distributions and earnings are all tax-exempt. An HSA allows you to
    deposit a portion of your pre-tax income into a savings account and
    use those funds to pay for qualified medical expenses. Unused money
    can be invested and accrue from year to year. If you have an HSA, be
    sure to deduct your contributions up to federally prescribed limits.
    Contributions to your HSA designated for 2012 and made before April
    15, 2013 can be counted toward your 2012 federal taxes. According to
    IRS Publication 969, HSA contributions for the 2012 tax year are
    capped at $3,100 for individuals and $6,250 for families. If you're
    over age 55, you may qualify to make an additional $1,000 contribution
    for the year.
--  Get tax credits for providing employees with coverage - If you're a
    small business owner providing group health insurance coverage for
    your workers, don't forget that there may be special tax credits
    available to you. If you have 25 or fewer employees with average
    annual wages of less than $50,000, you may be eligible for a special
    tax credit of up to 35% of the amount you contribute toward employee
    insurance premiums. Starting in 2014, that credit will increase to
    50%. Keep in mind that in order to qualify for the credit you must
    have paid at least fifty percent of your employees' total monthly
    premiums.
--  Start thinking about tax changes for 2014 - Once you've completed your
    taxes this year, take a look at your income and see if you'll qualify
    for a federal health insurance subsidy in 2014. If your adjusted gross
    income was less than 400% of the federal poverty level (that's about
    $45,000 for a single person or $92,000 for a family of four, in 2012
    dollars), you may qualify for a government subsidy in 2014. Failure to
    obtain health insurance in 2014 could result in a tax penalty. Another
    change: starting this year, you may notice a new dollar figure in Box
    12 of your W-2. If you have employer-based health insurance, the cost
    of your coverage is reported to the IRS here. You are not taxed on
    this amount, but so-called "Cadillac" plans (with aggregate values of
    over $10,200 for individual coverage or $27,500 for families) may be
    subject to an excise tax starting in 2018.

  
Additional Consumer Resources: 


 
--  Download or request a FREE printed copy of our book, Individual Health
    Insurance For Dummies, Health Care Reform Special Edition, produced in
    cooperation with For Dummies(R), a branded imprint of Wiley, and
    co-authored by eHealthInsurance
--  Follow eHealthInsurance's consumer blog, Get Smart - Get Covered
--  Browse our answers to real-life consumer health insurance questions on
    Yahoo Answers
--  Follow eHealthInsurance on Facebook and Twitter

  
About eHealth
 eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of
eHealthInsurance, America's first and largest private health
insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses
can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by
side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. eHealthInsurance
offers thousands of individual, family and small business health
plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health
insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health
insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the
company's eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com),
eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange
technology. eHealthTechnology's exchange platform provides a suite of
hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers,
resellers and government entities to market and distribute products
online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and
pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health
insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans
online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com
(www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website
www.eHealthMedicare.com.  
For more health insurance news and information, visit the
eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered. 
Embedded Video Available: 
http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2231217 
For media inquiries, please contact:  
Sande Drew
eHealth, Inc.
(916) 207-7674
sande.drew@ehealth.com 
Kris Kraves
Cogenta Communications
(805) 527-7733 - direct
kris@cogentacom.com 
 
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.